Looking for an outdoor summer concert in a beautiful setting? Come out to hear some great melodies and explore the Ladew Topiary Gardens every Sunday starting June 17.

I'm all about finding the tucked-away, hidden treasures in Maryland -- those places that feel like you’ve discovered them along with only a handful of others, and it’s your little secret hideaway to visit whenever you want.

Well, the secret is out! But even though Ladew Topiary Gardens has been named one of the top five gardens in North America, the place still feels cozy and special each time I visit. And there are so many reasons why you should, too.

Even though summer has not officially arrived, it feels like it has, and that’s good enough for me -- enough of a reason to start looking for stuff to do outdoors. Hibernation is over! And what better way to celebrate than with some outdoor concerts? The “Groovin’ in the Grass!” concert series starts on June 17 (Father’s Day) with an upbeat six-piece brass band called “Baltimore Brass” – you can hear a sample of their music here. Dad will appreciate the high-energy performance of pop and jazz.

You are welcome to bring a picnic and any non-alcoholic beverages of your choice. But rest assured, the gardens will have adult beverages and food on hand for purchase. The selection will include hamburgers and hot dogs, along with a vegetarian option as well. Even though the concert itself runs from 6 to 8 p.m., you can arrive as early as 4:30 p.m. to enjoy the gardens beforehand. Tickets are $7 for members of the gardens; $15 for adult non-members; $13 for seniors and students; $5 for children 2 to 12 years of age; and FREE for kids under 2. Membership provides quite a few perks, like free year-round admission to the Manor House, the gardens, and the nature walk, along with discounts at the gift shop and the on-site café.

There are eight summer concerts total, each taking place on Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m. They are held in the so-called Great Bowl of the gardens, a spacious and airy green pasture setting with a fountain in the center. Stroll through the gardens as you listen to the melodies carried along on the summer evening breeze. To see the full lineup, click here.

On a recent visit in April, tulips (my favorite flower) were in full bloom. Areas of the gardens were carpeted in the kaleidoscope of brilliant colors: pink, sunset orange, yellow, burgundy. Thankfully I had enough battery life on my phone to take a million photos (see below). To see what is currently in bloom, check out the website.

The gardens are manageable in size, and you can breeze through the entire place in about an hour. But it is best to take your time, mosey along, sit on a bench under the cool shade of a towering tree, and bring a snack to enjoy by the stream that ends in a koi fish pond. The white, orange, and black fish are so graceful floating through the clear water -- I could watch them for hours! It's a really great place to meditate, unwind, and reconnect with nature.

The gardens also offer many other programs and events to be enjoyed throughout the year (both on- and off-season). They have a spring lecture series on a variety of nature topics, a butterfly house, summer nature camps, and painting classes called “Brushes and Blooms,” just to name a few. So many things to do, see, and learn right in your community! You can even rent the place for a swanky, garden-themed wedding. So many options, so little time…

Ladew Topiary Gardens are located at 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD 21111. The gardens are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Have you ever been to Ladew Topiary Gardens? What did you like best? When is your favorite time to visit? Feel free to leave a comment below!